BISD School Board to Hear Parent’s Grievance Over Alleged Misconduct
UPDATE 2/25: The BISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to deny the filing parent's request for relief, and have upheld the school board's previous rulings.
OUR ORIGINAL STORY:
On November 20, 2014, Donald Belzer, a veteran and father, was waiting to pick up his daughter from Belton Early Childhood School. That afternoon, he says, he witnessed the school receptionist's son, a student at New Tech High, logging onto her administrative computer, in a breach of school privacy protocols.
“What struck me odd was that he would do it in the school in front of me," says Belzer.
He immediately filed an informal complaint, but the receptionist in question continued to allow her son to use the school's administrative computer until he had filed another two informal complaints, at which point the high schooler was banned from the BECS front office.
Soon after, Belzer filed an official Level I Grievance with Belton ISD requesting the removal of the BECS receptionist and a notice of the security breach to be sent to all BISD parents, also citing that BISD administrators' ability to remotely access their administrative terminals (e.g. from home) represented a disregard for parent privacy protection.
A day prior to the Grievance hearing, Belzer additionally filed a criminal complaint with the Belton Police Department after allegedly witnessing an officer carrying his weapon on BECS grounds. “If he is there in an unofficial capacity," says Belzer, "[the law] does not provide exemption for an off-duty possession of a firearm on school grounds by a police officer.”
Belzer wondered, then, whether the officer was there to "strong arm me to drop the Level 1 grievance before the hearing the following day." He notes it was the first time he saw an officer at the school and that the school maintains its own police department.
The District says the officer was there merely to see his child off to the first day of school.
Today, Belton ISD will discuss Belzer’s recent Level III Grievance, which he filed after citing denied relief to both his Level I and Level II Grievance filings, in a closed session during their regularly scheduled board meeting. They will reconvene to take any appropriate action, if necessary, in an open session.
Belzer further alleges that someone has tampered with audio files of the incident's memorandum, and also believes that surveillance footage provided to him, which was supposed to show the district’s belief that the New Tech student merely shook the mouse to awaken the monitor, was “cropped and altered."
“It’s like a can of worms,” says Belzer. “You open it up and you don’t realize how deep the can was, or how many problems there may actually be.”
Belzer has filed a request with the Texas Education Agency to investigate BISD.